The Practical Nursing Program is three semesters in length. Students are admitted to the program once a year. Northwest-Shoals Community College will no longer offer a fall admission into the practical nursing (PN) program. Instead of a fall admission, a summer admission will be offered. The curriculum is currently under review.

The Practical Nursing program enables the student to obtain the skills and knowledge leading to employment in the health care field. Topics related to safe, knowledgeable, and efficient nursing care are included. The program is approved by the Alabama Board of Nursing. Graduates are eligible to apply to take the state licensing examination (NCLEX-PN) for licensure as Practical Nurses. Graduation from the program however, does not guarantee Board of Nursing approval to take the NCLEX-PN licensing examination.


The admission criteria is currently under review and is subject to change.

PN applicants must have a minimum 18 ACT composite score (National or Residual). For more information regarding the Residual ACT testing dates, times and the scheduling process, please contact the Phil Campbell Testing Center at 256-331-6297 or the Shoals Testing Center at 256-331-5282. The residual ACT may not be taken more than once every 60 days.

See the Online Catalog for Latest Admission and Program Requirements.

Please review the Ranking Sheet before submitting your application.

Summer 2022 Admissions Application PacketDeadline Extended until December 15, 2021

To view a listing of transfer requirements and the transfer policy, please view the online College catalog.


The practical nursing program at Northwest-Shoals Community College at the Phil Campbell Campus, located in Phil Campbell, Alabama, and the Shoals Campus, located in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, is accredited by the:
Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
3390 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 1400
Atlanta, GA  30326
(404) 975-5000

The most recent accreditation decision made by the ACEN Board of Commissioners for the practical nursing program is Initial Accreditation.  View the public information disclosed by the ACEN regarding this program at

The Practical Nursing program is also approved by the Alabama State Board of Nursing.

Click to view full approval information.

NCLEX-PN Pass Rate:
For the Alabama Board of Nursing reporting period of January 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020, 94.64% of graduates who took the NCLEX-PN passed on the first attempt.

Program Completion Rate:
The program completion rate for the graduating class of 2020 was 68.18%.

Continuing Education Rate:
As of January 20, 2021, 97.61% of those who graduated in 2020 were continuing their education into an Associate Degree in Nursing program.

Note to Students Located Outside the State of Alabama:  The Practical Nursing program prepares students to take the examination required by the Alabama Board of Nursing to be a Licensed Practical Nurse in the state of Alabama.  It is not intended to prepare students for licensure in U.S. Territories, the District of Columbia, or states other than Alabama.  Contact the state regulatory agency for nursing in any other state for which this information is needed.

For more information, please contact Brittney Humphres, Director of Nursing Education at or 256-331-6207/5337.